Genetically Engineered Food Essay

928 words - 4 pages

Genetic engineering is also known as genetic modification or genetic manipulation. All three terms mean the exact same thing. Genetic engineering is the reshuffling of genes usually from one species to another. Genetic engineering can be done with plants, animals, or even with micro-organisms. For thousands of years farmers have bred plants and animals for the traits that they wanted in the plant or animal (Gatrell, 2004). They had the ability to breed dogs from as small as chiwawas to as big as great Danes. They could also produce a wide variety of flowers and other plants along with fruits and vegetables. Selective breeding over time created these wide variations, but it was always dependent on Mother Nature. Humans had the ability to produce the desired characteristic in plants or animals so that would become more common or more pronounced. Genetic engineering allows scientists to speed this process up by moving desired genes from one plant into another (Gatrell, 2004). It doesn't end there though; it can even go from animal to plant or plant to animal.In this paper I will attempt to show the potentially harmful aspects of genetically engineered foods. I began by briefly describing what exactly it is. Now I will list some of the alleged positive aspects of this method. Following that I will explain why the negatives outweigh any positives and why they should be illegal.Genetically engineered food is a big business because many people see only the positive aspects of it. The developers say that they can make the food better tasting and more nutritious than "regular" food. Genetic engineering alters the food however they please (Jones, 2005). Scientists can strengthen the tasty parts of any food or weaken the least desirable part of any food. Some of the desirable traits that they can affect would for example be potatoes that absorb less fat when fried. They can also make disease and drought resistant plants that require fewer resources from nature or man made like water or fertilizer. Plants can be made naturally immune to their predators thereby decreasing or altogether eliminating the use of pesticides. The food supply would increase because food could be given the ability to have a longer shelf life thereby reducing the cost. On top of that the plants or animals can be bread to be faster growing and in turn helping with the hunger problem and creating a huge supply and also lessening the price of food for the consumer. Genetic engineers believe that they can implant vaccines or other medicinal properties in the food kind of like iodized salt (Jones, 2005). These all sound like wonderful advances but people fail to look at the side effects of genetically altering foods.The arguments for genetically altered foods are very strong and sound hopeful except for the fact the negatives greatly...

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